Shropshire Star

Owners of pub on Bridgnorth 'danger' road apply for change to home amid safety fears and spiralling costs

The owners of a pub on a "dangerous" Bridgnorth road have applied to turn it into a residential dwelling amid road safety fears and spiralling costs.

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Gary Goodlad, of The Swan Inn, Bridgnorth

The Swan Inn on The Severn, off the B4555 Highley Road, is the subject of a change of use application after the owners said road danger issues and the cost of living crisis had caused a "sporadic" demand.

Kay Gibbons and partner Gary Goodlad, who run the venue, told the Shropshire Star last year they were "seriously considering" closing the pub due to the challenges.

Now a planning application, along with a nine-page, 2,300-word supporting document, has been submitted to Shropshire Council.

In it, Kay says: "Previous feedback has shown the need for change of use to residential due to the dangerous nature of the B4555 location which poses a threat to highway safety and as a source of noise. I seriously doubt that permission would be given for a new pub in this location in 2022."

She also said a van driver was left "visibly shaken" after a near miss on the road.

The Swan Inn on The Severn near Bridgnorth. Photo: Google

"Pedestrians have to walk towards oncoming vehicles on their walk from Eardington," she said. "The line of sight dips away for pedestrians who are also not easily seen on the brow of a hill by approaching drivers.

"My previous application (to diversify with holiday accommodation to keep the pub open) would actually have mitigated the safety problem with the road by reducing the number of transitions in and out of the driveway and encouraged people to stay on site instead of having over 100 people leave a function (which we would have no longer offered with a smaller car park) at 1am having had alcohol, in the dark and at the same time."

She also said taxis have to be booked up to a week in advance, and hiring staff is a problem due to the location, despite trying multiple methods and offering higher pay rates.

"Owners in hospitality are also facing paying back large ‘Bounce Back’ loans too after Covid," she said. "It is no exaggeration when it is stated in the media that beer should be charged at £7 a pint to £20 a pint, which most people will not be prepared to pay.

"We have constantly adapted to situations e.g. opening for B&B to workers in Covid, creating covered spaces (when outside dining only allowed), offering room only cheaper rates on weekdays to help with the cost of living crisis, adapting menus to include £6 items, cheap exclusive venue hire for affordable weddings (where we invested a lot of money in obtaining a ceremonies licence) etc.

"We have also tried to 'think out of the box' with some very original ideas for a pub but sporadic demand due to a limited catchment and difficulty staffing are external factors out of our control.

"There is no need for a pub in this location when there are so many other possibilities in Eardington and Bridgnorth that are more central to a customer base. Change of use would give access to reduced costs e.g. residential electricity tariff, no business rates, much cheaper insurance, no requirement for various licences, accountancy fees etc."

To view the application in full visit